Attention farmers: MCGA is offering FREE nitrate screening to help you address water quality

Sam P3The Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) is giving farmers the opportunity to have their well, ditch, stream and tile outlet water tested for nitrates. And it’s completely free.

UPDATE: We’ve added two additional screening opportunities in Crookston and Lamberton. See the updated schedule below.

The screening is completely confidential and takes about 20 minutes. Nitrate testing is an easy way for farmers to get a better idea about water conditions and nutrient loss on their own farms.

Collecting a sample for testing is simple:

  • To take a ditch, stream or tile water sample, collect 1 cup of water in a clean plastic or glass container. Freeze your sample and bring it in cool for testing.
  • For well water, run your cold tap for 5-10 minutes and collect 1 cup of water in a clean plastic or glass container. Freeze your sample and bring it in cool for testing.
  • If a sample is collected within 24 hours of testing, it does not need to be frozen, but should be kept refrigerated.

Current dates and locations for testing are listed below. We will be adding additional dates and locations throughout the state, so stay tuned. Each testing site will be open from 10 a.m — 2 p.m.

Worthington
May 9 at the University of Minnesota Extension office, located at 1527 Prairie Drive.

Fergus Falls
May 12 at the West Otter Tail County University of Minnesota Extension office, located at 505 South Court St.

Morris
May 13 at the farm located across the street from the University of Minnesota West Central Research and Outreach Center, located at 46352 State Highway 329.

Rochester
May 23 at the University of Minnesota Extension office, located at 1926 College View Rd. Southeast.

Crookston
May 24 at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center, located at 2900 University Ave.

Lamberton
May 26 at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center, located at 23669 130th St.

Rosemount
May 27 at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center at UMore Park, located at 1605 160th St. West. Screening will take place in the main research complex on the south side of 160th Street West across the street from the administrative office.

If you have any questions, you may contact Cara Soukup in the MCGA state office at (952) 233-0333.

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